We were warned about this by Thomas Tuchel. It was a brutal reminder of exactly what Bayern lacks as Erling Haaland took Kevin de Bruyne’s pass, showed Dayot Upamecano the shoulder, and slammed the ball into the back corner.
In the first half, Haaland missed a penalty kick, but it takes more to knock the Norwegian off his game. He is a savage finisher and the sort of striker that until the previous summer Bayern had in Robert Lewandowski. Bayern Munich’s biggest club in Germany was left trying to reach a Champions League semifinal on Wednesday night with an attack that simply does not cut it at the highest level after the Pole left and Bayern did not replace him.
After the game, Pep Guardiola said, “In this competition, it’s about the details.” However, having a world-class striker is more than just a detail. Before and after the game, Tuchel talked about “brutal punishment,” but what exactly was the punishment? While Upamecano’s mistakes in Manchester and Munich and the fact that Thomas Müller only played 30 minutes in both legs can be blamed on Tuchel, Bayern’s deeper strategic failures made this defeat possible.
Bayern’s hiring is overseen by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, who reports to CEO Oliver Kahn. There could never have been a realistic expectation that Bayern would be able to compete with the best by approving the sale of Lewandowski without paying for a suitable replacement—both Haaland and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen were available. Julian Nagelsmann’s dismissal was merely an attempt to distract from Salihamid’s fundamental errors.
During a frantic first half in which the hosts had multiple chances, Bayern had the best chance to create doubt in City’s mind. Leroy Normal, a player sold by Guardiola at City and held in the firing line-up by Tuchel regardless of enrolling just a single in his last 15 appearances, was sent clean through in the seventeenth moment by Jamal Musiala. Sane missed the far post with a shot across the City goal as Ederson advanced. Knowing that Bayern’s big chance had passed, Guardiola exhaled. Tuchel scowled.
Bayern kept creating chances, but none of them were taken advantage of. Eric Maxim Choupo Moting, supported by Sane and Kingsley Coman, led a front line that appeared disjointed and lacking in confidence. Before the game, Tuchel was informed that Bayern had only scored three goals in their previous four games, all of which were protector goals. In response, Tuchel stated that Bayern required “ease and trust before objective, we think excessively,” and that the “adjusting was missing.” That held true both during and after the game, as Joshua Kimmich’s last-second penalty was missed by countless Bayern supporters who had already gone for the taxi stands.
Bayern Munich employed Tuchel in light of two points. One is to facilitate them toward the Bundesliga, German Cup, and Support Association titles. Furthermore, two, to stop Genuine Madrid or Paris Holy person Germain from getting him. Bayern’s protectionist strategy worked four weeks after Nagelsmann was fired as coach. However, Bayern is out of the German Cup, the Champions League, and the Bundesliga.
Guardiola and City chief Ilkay Gündogan had lauded Bayern’s mindset and capacity to upset their 3-0 shortfall pre-game, however, their neighborliness had felt like a stretch. Tuchel was more forthright, stating that Bayern required a “miracle” and urging the fans to transform the Allianz Arena into a breeding ground for an enormous comeback.
The Allianz Field was shaking, however, when Haaland put Upamecano on the floor and undulated the rear of the net, the environment failed. The fans of Bayern knew that goal had ended their season and kept them out of the Champions League at this point for the third year in a row. After receiving a second yellow card for overexuberance, Tuchel played a frustrated person, ending the game with the fans on the terraces.
These defeats by City will have hurt Tuchel like none other in his career, who cites Guardiola as his greatest influence. Although he is new to the position, the Bavarian was relying on his influence by accepting his dream job at such a crucial point in the season; to perform the same trick at Chelsea, where he waltzed into Stamford Bridge and won the Champions League less than six months later. The large contrast is that the man he supplanted, Forthcoming Lampard, was Chelsea’s concern. Better than any player Chelsea could have signed was the upgrade to a world-class coach.
At Bayern, that was never the case to the same extent. Lewandowski decided that Europa League football with Barcelona was preferable to another season of pressing under Nagelsmann at Bayern, even though Manuel Neuer and Nagelsmann may not have been on the same page. However, the coach was still holding things together despite not having the full support of the board.
If Nagelsmann hadn’t been fired, we won’t ever know how things would have turned out, but Bayern’s results over the past month have made Nagelsmann look better. The club’s board will point to the long-term thinking behind the decision to change coach in late March while still fighting for the three titles they desire once Tuchel is given time to assemble a team in his image. There is every chance that Bayern will return to their imperious best once Tuchel is given time to do so.
Tuchel does not yet know anything about Bayern that Nagelsmann did not know, even though the club only needs a couple of defensive reinforcements and a world-class striker to get back on track. With a wry smile, Nagelsmann will have watched City’s destruction as he plans his next management move. Tuchel now faces the challenge of reviving this club’s competitiveness, but their issues go far beyond the coach’s identity.
Bayern Munich’s defeat to Manchester City in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and highlights the club’s failure to replace Robert Lewandowski with a world-class striker. The team’s attacking weakness is attributed to the sporting director’s and CEO’s strategic failures. While Tuchel was blamed for mistakes made in Munich and Manchester by Dayot Upamecano and Thomas Müller, it was Bayern’s deeper strategic failures that made this defeat possible. Furthermore, Bayern’s hiring is overseen by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, and the club’s fundamental errors, including the sale of Lewandowski without a suitable replacement, were a result of his poor decision-making. Bayern’s attack was led by Eric Maxim Choupo Moting, who appeared disjointed and lacking in confidence. Bayern Munich is likely to learn from its mistakes and give Tuchel time to assemble a team in his image.